Featured Street Photographer – Joseph Chow

“I started by just shooting random things in the city. Just because. I didn’t really “know” about street photography until a few years ago when I suddenly found this stuff on the “internet”. Now I’m engrossed in it.”

Joseph Chow is our next featured street photographer. Let’s hear what he has to say!

Why Street Photography?

Just because. To me it’s an adventure, like a treasure hunt of sorts. You never know what random event will unfold in front of you. A lot is luck. You can turn into one street and there’s nothing for half an hour, no light, no people. You turn another corner, and suddenly there’s rays of light spilling, a street protest, a construction site, or just a horde of people. Timing’s another thing. A few seconds can make a big difference. It’s such a random world out there.

What Got You “Into” Street Photography?

I started by just shooting random things in the city. Just because. I didn’t really “know” about street photography until a few years ago when I suddenly found this stuff on the “internet”. Now I’m engrossed in it.

Best Tip

Take. Your. Camera. Everywhere. All. The. Time.

I don’t use the neck strap, I carry my camera in my hand. On the way to work, after work, and often during lunchtime.

Don’t regret missing that one shot. I still do every now and then, but that’s because I’m trying to keep the wife happy by not having the camera with me when we’re out for dinner. Not sure if she finds it more irritating that I constantly say, “If I had my camera, I wouldn’t have missed that shot!”

I try not to look at too much of others work. It’s easy to copy someone’s style, but better to have your own individual outlook on the world.

And walk. And walk. And walk.

And act like a tourist, not a photographer. It works wonders. The dumber you look, the more you’ll get left alone.

Favourite “Go To” Spot 

I often go for a walk in the city, but with no real direction. I might walk down Collins Street because that’s where the sun is shining down. I can easily turn left and right at random locations, going on a hunch that something interesting might be happening at the next street. I often duck down dirty laneways, looking for things that are left in unsual or funny positions. I can walk for hours and hours, until my wife calls and says “Where the hell are you?”

Tram stops are great vantage points. So is standing in the middle of Collins or Bourke Street (until a paddy wagon pulls up behind you and turns on the siren!). I’ve walked from the city to Williamstown, and also Port Melbourne, just looking for different stuff.

When it rains, that’s when I get those tingles up and down my legs. It’s grea for photography in Melbourne. Great reflections and like Melburnian’s fashion sense, everything looks great in black!

I work in the city so it’s great. You get to know the city’s nuances. I reckon I’ve been down every lane and street at least twice. It never ends.

I’ve been to China a few times, it’s amazing for street photography, and photgraphy in general. The rural places are amazing!

Gear  

The one camera that I have, my Panasonic GX7, and 25mm 1.4 lens. I don’t have enough money to have GAS (gear acquisition syndrome), so am happy to just have this camera. It’s all I can afford. My Canon G10 sits on the shelf looking lonely.

Final Thoughts?

My blog’s pretty rough, it’s still a work in progress. I had to get it out there quickly because I was in the SITHOM 2016 (Shot in the heart of Melbourne) exhibition.

I have a tendency to capture dead animals in and around the city. It’s a dark side of me I guess.

I’m not the most accomplished photographer, in fact I am so non technologically knowledgeable, it’s not funny. I just like to take photographs! I don’t care about pixels and lightroom and stuff. I hardly even edit my photos. I figure it’s better to get the shot right the first time, and spend more time on the street than on the computer.

I still haven’t gotten around to Instagram. I just don’t have enough time yet.

You can find Joseph here :

http://thecuriousshadows.wix.com/blog

Let’s check out some of Joseph’s images…

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Joseph’s first image speaks to his advice of always having your camera with you, and wait for the right situation. I have often thought about pursuing a series of images of people working in the CBD. The peeking face of the second subject in the hole creates a lot of interest in the image, and is not immediately visible. The body of the subject above ground leads the viewer’s eye nicely to discover the subterranean-bound second subject.

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I often only see Melbourne in monochromatic tones, shooting almost exclusively black and white film. It is a always a pleasant surprise to see this wonderful city in all of it’s full colour. The image is nicely balanced in both colour and weighting. The bright lines of the tram stop are reflected in the building awning’s bright colours.

There are plenty of parallel lines leading the viewer into the image, and the subject waiting at the tram stop works to slow the image down a bit and create tension with the “go forward” feeling of the lines.

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The final image is my standout favourite. I think it is Footscray Station? Just goes to show, it is not the camera or the location that makes an image – it is the talent and skill of the photographer to get all the elements right to create a wonderful scene. I have been to Footscray Station a couple of times, and love the station’s design – but have never quite nailed a composition there.

Joseph has captured the image at a great time of day, and waited for exactly the right moment. It very much reminds me of one of my own most popular images of Richmond Station. Some shameless self promotion about to happen…

richmond station

 

One Response to “Featured Street Photographer – Joseph Chow”

  1. Thanks for sharing my site with yours. Look forward to meeting up one day. Cheers!

    Like

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